History of Medieval Map Making During the Dark Ages

Making a map of a small city was a very difficult task during the Dark Ages. Making a map of the whole world was extremely complicated and very few of them were actually made (very innaccurate, of course).

In order to make a map, the drawer had to travel a lot of land reaching from one side of the sea to the other - often ending in a river or lake making it much harder. Map creators had to be also especially careful with not contradicting anything that the church said, reason for which most medieval maps had its center in Jerusalem.

Medieval Map

Additionally it was believed that the three races of men had descended from the three sons of Noah-Shem (Europea, Asia and Africa). Which is why maps are divided in three - all in different sides with Asia on top, Africa on the right and Europe on the left.

The development of medieval maps took very often years of hard work to accomplish. When the New World was discovered, many maps had to be changed and improved.

Sailors were the principal users of such maps. All maps have wind roses for sailors to easily find their location with the use of a compass.

Today many medieval maps still exist and they can be seen. Of course they are very innaccurate and one can only recognize a given piece of land after some research and much patience!

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